Hi, I’m Lianne, a new volunteer at The NBFA! Earlier this month The NBFA organised a breakaway to my beloved hometown, Morecambe so I was thrilled to be able to come along and show the guests the sights.
Guests arrived at around 3pm on Monday and after a coffee and tea reception, retired until dinner. The evening’s entertainment was an NBFA favourite, an accordion player who took us right through the decades with his eclectic mix of songs.
On Tuesday, following a lovely cooked breakfast, we jumped on the coach with our fabulously entertaining (and cheeky!) drivers. The weather was incredibly kind and we had the most fabulously sunny day ahead of us. Our first stop was Grasmere, home of Wordsworth and the world famous Grasmere gingerbread. We wandered around the shops, garden centres and, obviously, stopped off for a piece of that delicious gingerbread!
Next on the agenda was Bowness-on-Windermere. Here we stopped off for a bit of lunch and the majority of the group went on a boat trip on Lake Windermere. The weather was beautiful and we managed to take some lovely snaps from the boat.
(Unfortunately on Wednesday, I had a prior engagement, so I missed out on the trip to Blackpool where the weather wasn’t quite so kind but I understand the shops took a good trade that day, as did the bingo halls and it did little to dampen everyone’s spirits!)
On Wednesday night, we had another fantastic entertainer (with a penchant for The Beatles!) who delighted us with songs on his banjo, ukulele, acoustic and electric guitar! His songs even encouraged a few of us to get up and have a bit of a dance!
Thursday was a free day for everyone to explore Morecambe. However, I asked a friend and local tour guide if he could give us a private look around Morecambe’s sadly dilapidated Winter Gardens Theatre. Luckily for us he agreed! Our guide, Peter, was absolutely fantastic with wonderful insights into how the theatre used to be run and the stars it used to attract (Laurel and Hardy, George Formby, Gracie Fields and Shirley Bassey to name but a few!) We had a full tour taking in everything from the cheap seats ‘in the Gods’, the boxes and even had the opportunity to do a turn on the stage itself!
Afterwards, we headed over the The Midland Hotel, an art deco hotel with has recently been restored to its former glory and the staff again gave us lovely anecdotes about the original murals which adorn its walls.
For me, this was without doubt, the highlight of the trip and everyone who came along agreed it was a wonderful day of nostalgia and reminiscing.
That afternoon we had the fancy dress competition and the raffle (for which we were inundated with prizes, thank you to everyone for your generous donations!) I dressed up as Eric Morecambe for the competition… (I was reliably informed its tradition for someone from the NBFA to cross-dress!) The first prize went to a lady who came in her WREN uniform!